Eagle, Summit counties to see forest pile burns | VailDaily.com

Eagle, Summit counties to see forest pile burns

There are more than 6,000 piles to burn, if conditions permit

There are thousands of slash piles in Eagle and Summit counties, with most in Summit. These piles are burning near Keystone.
U.S. Forest Service/special to the Daily.

Firefighters from the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire and Aviation Management Unit may begin burning more than 6,000 slash piles when conditions allow this month at several locations in Eagle and Summit counties on the White River National Forest. Pile burning will continue throughout the fall, winter, and spring.

“The slash piles are the result of past work we’ve completed: thinning and clearing vegetation to reduce the risk of unwanted wildfires and to improve wildlife habitat,” Ryan Hughes, a fire and fuels specialist, said. “We’ll only burn slash piles when there is sufficient moisture in the form of snow or rain and weather conditions allow for a safe, effective burn and optimal smoke dispersal.”

In Eagle County, firefighters plan to burn about 50 piles near Intermountain in West Vail. In Summit County, firefighters plan to burn about 5,000 piles in Keystone Gulch, 1,000 piles in Miners Creek near Frisco, and 800 near Breckenridge at Peak 7, Swan River and Boreas Pass.

Crews may burn tens to hundreds of piles per day depending on location and conditions. Most of the smoke will dissipate during the day; however, some smoke could remain in valley bottoms and drainages at night for short periods. For more information about pile burning in these areas, call Ryan Hughes at 970-456-8268.

These projects create fuel breaks that help reduce the risk of wildfire from encroaching on communities while benefiting firefighters. You can do your part to help keep the public and firefighters safe by reducing flammable materials around your home. To learn more, go to Firewise.org.

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